now browsing by tag
What follows is a FREE downloadable document related to preparedness. More preparedness files are available on the SeasonedCitizenPrepper.com Preparedness Download Page.
If you have any files you would like to share – feel free to email them to SCPrepper(at)outlook.com.
Document Name: FEMA – Protection In The Nuclear Age
Topic: Nuclear War Survival / Nuclear Terrorism / Radioactive Accidents
Summary: Government sponsored book that came out many years ago on the topic of surviving a nuclear war. Provides lots of information on fallout and the inherent dangers of nuclear weapons.
Click the button below to download the file.
If you love knives like I do you just might be interested in this new website – BestKnifeDeals.com. Started approx 2 weeks ago, it showcases on a daily basis (Monday thru Friday) a variety of knives at the best possible prices. Categories such as survival, utility, EDC, fantasy and even swords and axes are represented.
Like most people I am on a budget and as I increase my preparedness supplies to include more items such as knives I try to stretch the almighty dollar as far as I can.
Check out BestKnifeDeals.com and if you know of a good deal please pass it on!
The 5 W’s of Emergency Survival
by Wyzyrd, Editor-at-Large
As “codified” by “Survivorman” Les Stroud.
These are really all “common sense” things, and not my original ideas, but an experienced close friend came within a couple feet of dying last weekend, and sometimes, we all forget the basics.
If you don’t have a supply with you, and a way to safely obtain more, you might be dead within 3 days.
Is it hot? Is is cold? Is it raining or snowing? The type of shelter you set up is totally dependent on the weather. A woven hammock with a shower curtain over it will probably OK work in Virginia in August. If you do that in Canada in February, the grizzly bears will complain about frozen food.
You will probably need something to build your shelter, and wood (or other burnable material) lets you add additional heat for warmth, cooking or sterilizing water.
Are you in copperhead-country? Stay away from rock-piles. Been walking through grass all day? Check for ticks. Avoid red ant colonies and such things. Do you have mosquito netting or repellent? Can you sleep off the ground? The little ‘creepy-crawlies’ are more likely to hurt you than “lions and tigers and bears”.
Look up before you set up camp. Do you see a big dead branch? Do you see a crumbling rockface? Look around next. Do you see evidence of flash floods? A leaning dead tree? If yes to any of the above, pick a different spot. (refer back to #2 – Weather – rain, wind and snow make these worse.) My buddy ignored #5 this past weekend and woke up to a 30 foot dead Sycamore tree between his tent and his firepit.
Obtaining Gasoline (Post Disasters)
Editor At Large
I was advised by my boss to report to work on the Sunday before Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. I did not leave work until the Tuesday after Hurricane Katrina hit. However, I was then required to work 12 hour shifts daily for the next month.
I lived in the suburbs of New Orleans but worked in the central business district. I had to travel approximately 18 miles, one way to work, then 12 hours later, return home. There was NO electricity and everyone had evacuated. Since no gas stations were open, I was running very low on gas in my truck after only a few days with NO way of obtaining more gas by conventional means.
As I was leaving my residence one day, I noticed that most people in my neighborhood had taken only one of their vehicles when they evacuated and left another one or two vehicles in their driveway. Since I knew most of the people that lived on my half of the block, I siphoned gas from my neighbor’s vehicles that had evacuated their residence. I siphoned the gas into five (5) gallon gas cans. I wrote I.O.U.s, with the amount of gas I had siphoned from their vehicle along with my name, address and phone number. I placed the I.O.U. in a zip lock food storage bag and placed them under the windshield wiper of the vehicle I took the gas from. I then poured the gasoline from the five (5) gallon gas cans into my truck.
One day I observed a City Police Officer and advised him of what I had been doing to obtain gasoline for my truck. He advised me that he did not see a problem if I had left an IOU and intended to replace the gasoline.
As gas stations started to open in the area, I purchased gas and placed it in my five (5) gallon gas cans. I replaced all of the gas that I had borrowed before any of my neighbors’ returned home. As I replaced the gas, I recovered the IOUs that I had left on their windshields.
When my neighbors returned home, I told each one of them what I had done and why. I spoke to my neighbors because I did not want to take the chance that someone had witnessed me taking the gas and might tell my neighbors that I had stolen from them. Everyone that I had spoken to told me that it was a smart thing to do. Also, they told me that they did not mind as long as I had replaced the gas in their cars.
Are You Forgetting Something?
So you are a “Prepper”. You have stockpiled water, food, firearms, ammunition, silver, gold, emergency medical supplies and whatever else that you want, for whatever time period you deemed necessary, 3 months, 6 months a year, more. However, if you are like most “Preppers”, you never have enough of everything you think you will need. But have you forgotten something that will limit how long you will live in a teotwawki situation.
There is an saying amongst “Preppers”. You can live for 3 minutes without air, 3 days without water and three weeks without food. So what if more important than food and water? What about your daily prescription medicines.
After Hurricane Katrina, there were NO pharmacies open that I could find, in the New Orleans metro area for three (3) months. After any national disaster, how long would it take for the pharmaceutical companies to start to make the drugs that you take? Then they would have to be transported to the pharmacies so you could buy them. Could they even make all of the different medications that you take? Which medications would they make first? Would the government decide where and who gets those drugs first?
You can be the most prepared “Prepper” in the world but if you have a major medical condition such as Diabetes, a Heart Condition, Epilepsy, etc. and have not stockpiled your vital medicines that you need to take on a daily basis, you will only live as long as you have you medicines.
So, you spend a lot of money on other items so that you can survive whatever disaster you are planning for but you do not want to spend $300 or $400 for an extra bottle of medication that you need to keep you living. You had better rethink you strategy.
There is no reason to have a 6 months’ supply of water, food, weapons and ammo but only have a month or two of medication you need to take on a daily basis. Why? If you die or become none functional from not having all of the medications that you need to take on a daily basis, what is the use in having water, food, etc. for longer than the amount of medications you have.
In addition, you then become a liability on the persons in your family or group that now have to take care of you or no longer have you to help them.
First, make a list of all of the medicines that you take on a daily basis.
Second, go talk to the pharmacist that fills your prescriptions. Determine how much each prescription will cost you if you buy them without using your medical insurance. If you cannot afford to purchase a full months’ worth of medication that you need, ask the pharmacist if you can fill a partial prescription? Can you buy a weeks’ worth of your medicine instead of a full months’ worth?
Third, if you do buy partial prescriptions, as you buy them, keep them in the bottles with the labels that they came with. Most pharmacies print the expiration date on the bottles label. This is important. I have been told that some prescriptions can be toxic after their expiration dates.
Fourth, make a large zip lock bag up and as you buy your medicines, place one (1) months’ supply of you medications in that zip lock bag. When you have a full months’ worth of medications that you take, label the bag with the month and year that you purchased them in. I use a Sharpe’. As you start to obtain multiple months of your medications, place the bags in a small box.
Fifth, keep you surplus medications in a dark and cool place. Heat decreases the amount of time your medicine is good.
Sixth, be sure that you rotate them and use those stored medications well before their expiration dates.
Purchasing Post Disasters!
Editor at Large
One of the VERY valuable lessons that I learned post Hurricane Katrina was that buying anything was a problem.
When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, all of the electricity for the entire New Orleans metro area failed.
Then the levees broke and the flooding started. It did not flood where I worked in the central business district. Neither did my residence flood. Both were high and dry.
However, all of the main branches of ALL of the banks in New Orleans were flooded and without electricity. This had more of a far reaching effect than I had ever imagined.
Everyone that stayed in the New Orleans area, post Hurricane Katrina had the same problem. Because ALL of the branches of ALL of the banks in the New Orleans metro area did not have electricity and/or were flooded, this placed ALL of the banks computes systems underwater and/or without electricity to power their computers.
No merchant could confirm that you had any money on deposit with the bank that you used. This meant that NO business would take ANY credit card, ANY debit card or ANY check because there was no way to verify how much money you had on deposit with your bank. The only thing that any merchant would take was CASH! If you did not have cash, you were not able to buy anything.
Another problem was that because payroll checks, Social Security and retirement checks, etc. was electronically deposited into our bank account, there was no way to confirm that any funds were on deposit in your bank account. So, NO auto bills were paid from our checking accounts, making all of those bills delinquent.
I found one gas station that had a generator powering one gas pump. I tried to use silver, U. S., one once, American Eagle, coins to purchase gas. The manager told me he had no idea what the coin was worth. The station manager then told me that it said “one dollar” on a one ounce silver U.S. coin and that is what it would buy, one dollars’ worth of gas. I had a 32 gallon gas tank. You can figure out how many one once, silver, American Eagles it would have taken to fill my gas tank? To the gas station manager, it was just a U. S. dollar coin.
DO NOT store only gold and silver coins for emergency purchasing purposes.
I HIGHLY recommend that along with your emergency supplies, you keep some cash money in varied denominations. If you decide to do this, store only one, five, ten and twenty dollar bills. That is all merchants would accept without any problem.
Bartering is another way to obtain items. However, that is the subject for another article.
Quote of the day: “Don’t pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he’ll just kill you.”
LIKE A THIEF IN THE NIGHT
By Linda Leonardy
Visiting St. Augustine to see the lights at Holiday time is an age old Florida tradition. It wasn’t that long ago I was sharing the revelry with a group of friends. As we went from one ancient tavern to the next I remember saying a silent prayer of gratitude. Walking ahead were 2 young married couples laughing & singing Christmas Carols. The times were affluent. The hotel we were all staying in was as grand that day as it was when Henry Flagler built it a hundred years prior. The young couples in our party had good jobs, new houses & were talking about planning families. My own young twin sons were graduating from High School in the spring, one son had his sights on West Point & the other was planning on a future in Business Management. I remember as if it were yesterday how proud I felt to be an American. My own ancestors had actually walked those same streets that I was on & been part of the history that had carved out this part of Florida before the American Revolution. How safe and secure it felt to be in my world at that time.
That was thirteen years ago. That was before the events of 911. My sons were lucky. They were able to follow their dreams. But my prayers were entirely different as I sat through my sons graduation from West Point 4 years later knowing he would eventually be heading off to war.
My attitude about being prepared has altered radically in the last several years as well. Of course as a Floridian we always have a supply closet. Over time the cans of Spam have been replaced by more responsible alternatives, but making sure the basics are up to date as well as sufficient has always been a way of life. It is hard to define the moment that you realize things are not the same and they are never going to be again. Political and Economic Greed, Bursting Housing Bubbles, Real Estate Decline, Job Market Evaporation perhaps not affecting everyone, only a few, promises on the evening news that recessions were not depressions it was all only temporary. Maybe that was when I started taking a hard look at the cans of Spam, or perhaps that is when I made a designated trip to Home Depot to take a serious look at learning to grow my own tomatoes. I am not sure.
There is one thing I do believe has changed radically and it effects how we prepare. When research is done on Prepping we all know that we are preparing for a big TSHTF event. I think that has changed. There is always the inevitable possibility of a Cataclysmic Natural Disaster or Alien Invasion from another planet but either of those events could just as likely end life as we know it on our planet as well. What we prepare for is to have the ability to live out our lives & sustain the future of our generations through any unfortunate and unforeseen survivable events. So we read volumes, save voraciously, train ourselves & our families into a sleek well oiled unit and we wait, we watch and we listen. When the lights go out is the grid down? When the flu virus mutates is the Pandemic on the way? When the ATM is out of order are the Banks insolvent? No I do not think so.
What I suggest is there is never going to be a perceivable major event. That would be to defining. We are already there. Like a thief in the night, silently TS has HTF and by the time it has identity it will be too late.
I have never been one to believe that my glass was either half full or half empty, but have always subscribed to the theory that it was simply the wrong size glass. So now it is time to change the glass. If lettuce in the local supermarket having gone somewhere in my lifetime from 79 cents to $2.00 isn’t heralding a global economic collapse I am not sure what will. So now the choices are to pay it, to grow it or do with out. There really is no great food value in lettuce. But then again I have not ever thought of lettuce as an expendable luxury.
I myself of late have been taking an even harder look at my pantry. Once again being semi retired, on a small fixed income I am most certainly going to feel the impact sooner. Sort of like a barometer for the future generations. Aggressively I am trying harder to store what I actually eat and eat what I store, rotate and double up even more when I go to the market. I take a harder look at what really is unnecessary & what can be held longer for the future when it may not even be affordable. I work with increased diligence at a sustainable lifestyle today regardless if it is in my food clothing or recreational choices. These are not grand gestures but they are the ones I still can control. Do I think there will be anarchy, civil unrest, safety issues? Look around you, even today I do not stop to put gas in my car after dark. Do I think if you are young and strong and capable of defense that you should train to be effective? Every great skill requires practice, practice, practice. If protecting your life and family is totally dependant on a bug out plan then I would say look really hard at how you are living now. Put your efforts into getting where you want to end up today even if you have to make sacrifices because tomorrow may be too late.
There is a comfort in thinking you are planning for an unforeseeable future and that you are attempting to cover all the bases. That you will be the leader among the masses in some major event. That the world as a whole will be in upheaval and you were the one that had the forethought to plan. That may still be true. I simply challenge you to not just prepare but to live prepared for I can still hear the echo’s of that laughter and past innocence on the cobblestone streets of Old St Augustine one Christmas Eve only thirteen years ago.
Looking for the best deals on preparedness supplies? Try searching Amazon below:
Slightly Different Twists Around the Subject of Prepping
- A Single Woman’s Perspective, Guys welcome
By Summer Rose July 4, 2013
Apparently the government has come up with profiles of people who hoard (store more than seven days of food), and those of us who do that, fall under a category of mentally ill. Yes, that was a comfort to find out. By being judge and jury, and declaring one mentally ill, there is yet another way for the “government” to come in and take complete control over one’s life. Tyranny is such a joyful prospect.
Now that I have started with that baseline, and you know that I do go “out there” (or not), I would like to present some small, random perspectives that may be of use to others engaged in this relentless process of preparing. Once in a while an article includes a helpful way to look at things. I think we need to get more of it. Prepping can take a toll, and can be rather a lonely pursuit.
For reference, I am a divorced, single woman, heading fast to age 59. For reasons outside of prepping, five years ago, I moved from a nice suburban neighborhood outside of Washington DC to a rural area of West Virginia. I landed with a house on four acres of land. I was fortunate enough to take the house in town and be able to pay off a house in the country. As I have gone through the culture shocks and adjustments of letting go of what used to seem important, I continue a transformation that is an amazement to me.
All of us who are inclined to prepare, or are should I say , driven to prepare, have our reasons. We all have to decide to what extreme we go in this process, as it is impossible to really know what we may actually be facing. I spend time reading articles that range from gentle nudging to the fairly hard core views of what reality could be. I find sorting the lines between realistic possibilities and fear porn can be difficult to discern. In any case, I have to be at peace with the fact that it is impossible to prepare for any eventuality. I am not going to be building an underground shelter and outfitting it any time soon. Doomsday Prepper, I am not. No, I will not make it if a commando unit who wants what I have, storms my house.
How much do we sacrifice now, for what may not occur in the future? I find I have to deny myself something else I might need, want or enjoy so that for example, I can buy a gun and pay for training. I argue with myself. Do I really want to buy a weapon, hunt down available and expensive ammo, and train? Of course not. But being able to defend myself if necessary, and putting in under the category of life insurance, is what wins the argument. I start private lessons with an excellent teacher next week. I will not be getting a manicure anytime soon. But I will not be just handing over my stores to the first hungry group that comes by, either. This from a girl who couldn’t stand her ex-husbands guns in the house.
I buy soil, seeds and garden equipment instead of the gorgeous pots of annuals that used to be a hallmark of my porch and property. While I might have hoped for a pair of cute summer sandals with extra income even five years ago, I am over it. Now I am aiming for a good work shoe. Now that could just be age.
I have gone through plenty of anger and rage and disillusionment and asking why we have to shape our lives because of some nutters wanting total control of the planet. Most of the population has not even gotten to denial. So carefully are they cocooned in their make believe, fragile worlds. Let me not waste time with examples.
I read all the lists of “Must Haves” for any prepper. I am always checking what I have against these suggestions. There are several things I picked up from taking Mike Adam’s “Don’t be scared, Be Prepared” course, that I almost never see mentioned in any of these other many articles. For example, if you wear glasses, buy back up pairs. How would you manage if you lost or broke your only pair? If you wear contacts, maybe an extra box or two would be good to have. But then when they run out, what then? Mike Adam’s mentioned Zenni Optical. One can literally order a pair of glasses online for as little as $6.00 plus shipping. I have done it. At that price, don’t miss the opportunity. Not being able to see could make a dark world even more troubling. Randomly , I seldom see 2 cycle oil mentioned as a necessity. But how will you use that chainsaw without it? In addition to gas reserves, how about the oil? Stock up.
Every time Lowes has good soil on a half price sale, I am loading up the car and hauling it home and setting up new raised beds that I found at Sam’s Club. I started with these last year, and have been adding when I have had the money. I think that bringing in good dirt and compost is critical. I am buying and getting it while I can. I am going to be ordering worms and buying a worm farm as part of this process as well. For what my friends might pay for a dinner out, I am calculating how many cubic feet of Miracle Grow I can buy. I think it is kind of funny that instead of two entrees at Olive garden, I will be buying 1000 worms. Worms at the top of a wish list? That’s an irony.
I don’t tell my girlfriends back in town most of what I am doing, I can tell you. While they are checking brochures for a next vacation, or eating in nice restaurants, I might be thinking about how I would manage to kill a chicken if I have to, or picking up manure from a neighbor’s. To say I am in different kind of space is an understatement. But when I look at my accomplishment, it all seems priceless.
By the way, pay cash for items when you can. You may prefer not to be pegged as having bought rain barrels, soil, blueberry bushes, guns and ammo in the same six month period. Who wants be to shouting enemy of the state?
I have found in some ways, that preparing has actually freed me in regards to spending. My own personal belief is that economic collapse and hyperinflation is a given now, and that is what drives me. While I might never have bought certain items because of cost, I now think of these things as cheap compared to what they will cost, (if they are even still available) , and I buy them to put away. I have decided that if things are going to get very grim, I would like to have some bright spots to look forward to. I have bought cappuccino and chai mixes and excellent sauces and seasonings. I have bought jam preserves, and salsas. These are special luxuries I might never have allowed myself before. I don’t plan on dealing with “appetite fatigue”. Currently, “buy while you can, and while you have the chance” has become a kind of permission. It is not my original concept to claim, but I like the idea of “Don’t Just Survive, Thrive”. I find some comfort in it. I would like to think I may even get to live well under tough circumstances.
I used to try to save more money. That has changed. Now I think, why save money that most likely will be worth nothing? It may be a bit of a gamble, but it might be better to have the things I will need now. I don’t know what the future bring will bring for finance, but if survival basics, it will count for something. I am certain I have valuable barter items. I don’t spend money on coffee out. I buy extra toilet paper. Would I rather save that few hundred dollars, or have the supply of food from Efoods? I can not buy servings of food elsewhere at the cost they still offer. I am in trouble because I have pet rabbits. As a result I will never be able to raise them as a food source. Too bad. They would be the thing to have when the Efoods beef stroganoff runs out.
Being a music teacher has forced me to be practical with finances, and I am grateful. A boyfriend once called me frugal. I was insulted at the time. Now it would be high compliment.
As some of you read, I know you will be thinking that I have more money than you might. This may be the case, or not. Most of you are not as poor as you think. You just have to learn to allocate money differently. I consider every trip into town as so much in gas money. If I skip a trip or two in a week that I don’t have to make, I have now saved money for something else I need.
If there is no power, the idea of entertainment , comes up. I do often find the suggestion of having books, decks of cards and games to help pass time in the event of short or long term emergency written about. It’s clear that is if one has not put food and water away, or one’s house has been destroyed, or if all has been stolen, the following are all moot points,. BUT, here’s a different idea for you. If you have a piano, how about getting it tuned (while you can) in prep? How about buying an extra backup set of strings for a guitar, or in my case, a harp? Maybe it could be your last chance. Playing a musical instrument and being able to play for one’s self or other people could be a godsend through otherwise awful circumstances. I would hate to think my piano would possibly never get back in tune, if things hit the fan. I am spending the money now. Remember. What are we preparing for? Economic collapse, EMP attacks, and earthquakes all have very different ramifications. Music is on the list of things I want in my life. Who knows how lifesaving it might be in a time when hope is needed. I have taken music into hospices. I have seen the power. I want to be foreseeing, finding and carrying beauty through to the end of my life, whenever that happens to be. I don’t want that light going out. (Just for the record however, there is permanent ban on anyone ever singing Kumbaya in my house.)
Do look up Marjorie Wildcraft if you dont know of her, for lots of reasons. Here is a link to her interview of a woman who talks about getting through dramatically difficult times in Cuba. http://www.growyourowngroceries.org/economic-collapse-survivor-gives-advice-to-americans-preppers/ One of the things that got her family and friends through awful times and being desperately hungry, was finding ways to have some bit of fun together. They look back and remember those times fondly even now, and are grateful for the ways they found to get through quite depressing circumstances.
My mother was on a convoy crossing the Atlantic Ocean during WW2. Each morning as the sun would rise, the passengers would rise see how many ships had been lost in the night. Out of twenty boats that started the crossing, my mother was on the only ship to complete the journey across. At night everyone on board would sing and put on plays and tell stories together. This was a way of handling or coping with the fear that hopefully most of us will never have to know. Otherwise, how utterly unbearable would that experience have been?
If I was an artist, I might want to buy some extra supplies, and put them away. After maybe being able to eat, secure the perimeter and fight off an angry mob, maybe there will be time to paint a picture. If things are not going to be available for lengths of time in the future, get them now. What would you be wanting for solace? Even a little box of watercolors, a brush and paper might be a blessing. Would you want this for your children? In a time of darkness, being able to paint a rainbow could be a great source of light, and just the thing to lift the hopelessness from a spirit. Prepare for there to be bright spots. Set up possibilities now. Plan to have some fun, or you will just want to give up.
I did read an article where a man wrote he had ordered backup needles for his wife’s sewing machine as a prep. Assuming power availability, of course, there is another good idea. Sewing is a great skill anytime. But being able to make and mend will be a good thing. How about having a few remnants or fabrics available for patching or creating later on? How about some pretty ones? Or does it all have to look like such a dull chore? I for one am thrilled that I can darn, and quite nicely. I always felt if I had two socks that matched, I should work to keep them together.
I read a very insightful article on “35 Reasons People Don’t Prepare”. I would like to put forth another reason people don’t prepare. I have several friends that are choosing not to prepare because they believe that if they put energy in the direction of believing things are falling apart, that they will contribute to that circumstance coming about, and it could become a self fulfilling prophecy. I got over worrying about creating the events, when it seems inevitable that some will happen regardless of my thoughts. I have decided that first and foremost, I don’t want to be a statistic, if what I do now can prevent it. I would hate to die, literally, because I went for a pretty pair of shoes instead of the Berkey Water Filter. Discipline is required. I just don’t see people believing anything will happen.
Through the mourning process of coming to terms with the world not being quite what I may have thought it was, or would be, I have started to find these creative ways to see the future as more gentle and I am mitigating fear. In a dark moment, who wants to imagine a future where a truck full of guys with guns come to your door and forces you to be chipped, or carts you off to some camp, or confiscates all you have because of some Agenda 21 or whatever else provision set up by the psychopaths on their crazy drive to seize total control? Everyday, thinking can be like a horror movie if one is not careful.
Preparation is a great counter to fear, along with a little faith, and hopefully some laughter, love and people who are on board with these same ideas. I have gone through thinking that I will just give up and die if things get really hard. Now I want to stay strong and healthy . We can not simply roll over and lose this war. I don’t want to let the gift of this life go so easily. Why should I give up to maniacs, who in have made it their life’s mission to depopulate the planet and rid it of all the “useless eaters” ? (Hey, their term, not mine.) While we can, let’s make sure we let politicians know that things need to change course.
I mentioned that, as we all do, I have many friends who think nothing about ANY of this. Sometimes I envy them. Would I take the blue pill or the red one? But then I see the huge cracks and warning signs and snap back to getting in gear to become more self sufficient. I get back to working on my rain barrel system, and how to keep the deer from wiping out my fruit trees. And then I think about the tin of Walker’s Shortbread I have in my stores. I will NOT touch that box before any suggested expiration, unless there is an emergency. Like Christmas, I will have some things to be looking forward to. And I look forward to those cookies, no matter what the circumstance. I will enjoy every bite. If we are at some kind of end, it will all be easier being able to eat Walker’s and not give a second thought to calories.
Yes, even as we are forced to shelter in place in connection with yet another false flag event, or pandemic is raging outside, I am going to pull out the blackberry brandy that I use for my healing elderberry medicinal potion that combats that pandemic, and cookies, and I am going to look at my rainbow picture. And I will enjoy and savor the available blessings for a moment, and remember that times will not always be like this, and there is a better world out there somewhere, or it’s coming.
And even as I rail about why do things have to be this way, (It isn’t supposed to be like this!) I realize I would not trade the sexiest pair of summer sandals in the world for the experience of sitting down for a meal today that will include beets, broccoli, herbs and lettuce from my own garden, that I started from seed. Tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers are almost in. If fear of the creeps taking over and collapsing the economy, dumping chemtrails, poisoning the water and food, and controlling weather is what brought me to this special plate of food in front of me that I thank God for, there is something to be said for that. Would I have done all of this if there were no worries? Maybe part of the divine plan is to shake us up so that we find our way back home and to what’s real and what’s important. Maybe we will get a chance to start over from that place. Wouldn’t that be a beautiful answer to prayer?
What an interesting set of experiences await us in this life. And if we don’t make it through in this body, I know there is a greater adventure ahead, in a very amazing place.
Whatever happens, life is definitely uncertain. Make sure you put away some dessert or something special you can really look forward to. Make it something you really love.
Editor At Large
I live in a suburb of New Orleans, Louisiana. During Hurricane Katrina I worked in the central business district of New Orleans. I am one of the people that were called into work on Sunday, August 28, 2005 as hurricane Katrina approached southeast Louisiana. Because of this, I could not evacuate and rode out Katrina in downtown New Orleans.
I have always thought I knew what I needed to know and could survive most disasters, both natural and manmade. I was sadly mistaken.
When disasters strikes, you are sometimes left without any governmental and/or electricity, gas, sewage or potable water services that we are used to for hours, days, sometimes weeks. For the people that did not or could not evacuate New Orleans during and after hurricane Katrina, we did not have any assistance for two weeks and public utilities for much longer than that. We were on our own, totally.
Hurricane Katrina hit the New Orleans area on the morning of Monday, August 29, 2005. At that time, we lost all public utilities, even natural gas. Because we did not have electricity Monday night, the City of New Orleans was in total darkness. Looting started within hours after the winds died down. Society broke down quicker than anyone had expected. We heard shooting in every direction around us. The looting lasted for days. Both stores and residences were looted.
We learned the first night that when we lit Coleman lanterns or used any form of light, that light could be seen for miles. The light attracted many roaming people. These people, who did not evacuate and who did not have any emergency supplies, wanted assistance from us. They were used to the government taking care of them. At this point in time, the government was nowhere to be found. We had just enough supplies to take care of our needs, as we had planned. We did not have anything to spare. We were not a government aid agency. Needless to say, things got fairly tense.
This is one of the lessons that we relearned quickly. We had to black out the windows and be very careful with any light we generated.
Then we were presented with another problem. It was the middle of summer in New Orleans. With all of the windows and doors covered, there was no outside air circulating. It got VERY hot, VERY quickly.
So how does this apply to you?
During a major disaster, natural or manmade, the people who do not have will want the supplies that they need from the people that do have. They will use ANY and ALL means to get it the supplies they need.
If you doubt this, let me present you with a situation.
You and your family are on vacation. You are in a city far away from home. While in that city, a major disaster occurs. All routes out of that city have been cut. You cannot get out. You cannot expect any help for the foreseeable future. You are on your own. You have none of the supplies that you need. No food and the city water system is contaminated. Your family has not had anything to eat or drink for three days. You are holding your crying seven year old daughter in your arms. She is crying holding onto you saying that she is thirsty and hungry. Your wife looks at you and asks what you are we going to do? My question to you is, what wouldn’t you do to get your family something to eat and drink? If you see a light in a building, would you go to that building to see if you could get food and/or water from the people there? If the people would not help, would you be willing to use force to take what your family needed to survive? Would you be willing to break in to a house or business, whose occupants have evacuated, to take what your family needed? Are you now a looter or just attempting to obtain supplies to survive?
On the other hand, if you were the person with the light on and could not evacuate and have the supplies you needed, what would you be willing to do to defend your supplies in order that your family has something to eat and drink? How far would you be willing to go to protect your supplies? You are the one that planned ahead and stored what you needed. Do you give some of your supplies away and possibly short your family of what they may need? Would your wife pressure you to give away some of your supplies to help their crying children in need? Now the people without, knows where to go to attempt to get future supplies. Also, what if those people that you helped tell their relatives and/or friends where they got their handouts.
A portable generator can be heard for a long distance when the electricity is out and nothing is moving. If you needed food and water and heard a generator running several blocks away, would you head to the generator noise to attempt to get what you needed.
If you are planning on cooking ANYTHING, how far do you think the smell of the food will carry, especially if the people that are doing the smelling have not had anything to eat in days!
Now I will give you something else to think about. Post Katrina, we saw many signs in the New Orleans area that said, You loot, we shoot! (See Pictures Below!) If you use deadly force on someone that is only looting and your life or the life of someone else is NOT in danger, when civilization and the government come back and order regains, will you be charged with murder?
Below are actual signs posted in residential areas of New Orleans.
So what do you do?
I cannot answer that question for you. You might want to pose this situation to your county prosecutor or personal attorney so you know the legal answer before you have this situation present itself during a disaster. You also need to sit down with your wife and family and discuss this before a disaster. You are the one that will have to live with your decisions during and after a disaster.
By the way! For those of you that live far away from the cities and think you are safe and secure. Just before Katrina hit southeast Louisiana, the a lot of the people evacuated that lived there. Would you like to guess where they went? The answer is, EVERY WHERE in a four state area around Louisiana. There was no city or county that did not have evacuates in their area. Just think what the rural areas of this United States would be like if it was a nationwide disaster. How long would it be before the farming communities were inundated with hungry people? How many people are planning on hunting and fishing post disaster? How long before all of the game is depleted or gun battles break out because someone is using someone’s favorite hunting or fishing spot?
If you live in a rural area and do not live around anyone, you had better have a good security warning system set up to let you know if anyone approaches where you are. At least in the suburbs you can form a neighborhood watch group. Place two persons, not related, on a roving patrol for two hour periods. Then have them relieved by two other people for the next two hour period through every 24 hour period, day and night.
After a major disaster, cover your windows and doors at night so that no light escapes through them or do not generate any light at all, this also includes camp fires, unless you want to attract all types of people. If you have to turn on a light, do what the military does, use a red filter on your light.
One of the best things you can do is, DO NOT tell anyone, now or during a disaster, what supplies you have. If you think a good friend or neighbor would not turn on you if their family needs what you have, you are sadly mistaken.
Also remember, the people with firearms make the rules and will take what they need from people who do not have firearms. If you buy a firearm, get instructions from a well-qualified instructor on a regular basis and practice!
Remember, if someone tells you “ We are from the government and we are here to help! RUN!!!!!!! See the below pictures!!!
“The New Orleans Convention Center”
by servantheart, Editor at Large
These can be purchased online from Amazon.com as well as at many more local sources, including military surplus stores.
This is a heavy-duty large plastic “liner” that you roll out in a bathtub and fill with water from the faucet. It will hold 100 gallons of water. At 8.3 lbs. per gallon, that is about 830 pounds of weight in your bathtub. If you have a newer tub, especially plastic or fiberglass, make sure it can hold the weight, or you may just lose your tub. As the DH likes to point out, however, in a true “IHTF” scenario, will you really CARE if you lose a bathtub to water storage? That’s something you would have to decide, of course.
You get the water out via a hand-pump device, a “siphon pump”; you unscrew a cap and place the pump when you want to take water out, and replace the cap when you are finished removing water, until the next time.
The hand pump is a simple device. It has an opaque plastic hose attached. You are supposed to place a water containment unit (pitcher, whatever you want to put the water in) BELOW the level of the hand pump. That could get tough as the water reduces in the tub, just being honest about it. So, maybe a raised “holder” of some sort would be good, so long as it can hold the weight? I have no idea what that would be: maybe some water bottles that have been filled with municipal water after spring water had been consumed (one gallon) and turned on their sides? Empty the Water BOB first, then the gallons under it? What ideas do YOU have?
Another way to deal with the Water BOB, without putting your tub at risk, is to place them out of doors. You will still need a sturdy support system. How about FREE (there’s my favorite 4-letter word again!) solid wood (such as oak) shipping pallets? Our neighborhood home improvement store will give them to you, if you ask; they will even let you sort through and take the ones you want. If you could build this out of doors and place it on concrete blocks, better still! Remember: it needs to be higher than what you run the water into from the siphon/hose (it is gravity fed, obviously).
Wherever you decide to use your water Bob, it will be imperative to keep sun off it, so that you do not get algae growth; indoors, close any window treatments to prevent sun from coming in, and cover with a blanket or towels. Outdoors, use plywood sheeting to keep sun off and you may still want to cover it with a blanket or towels, for added protection.
You’ll also want this hidden from site so as not to blow OpSec – VERY IMPORTANT. You do not want your throat slit for water, it has been done for less (and we’re not even “there” yet!).
One thing I found interesting is that the instructions that come with it tell you to “kill it” after the first use. To quote: When fresh water is no longer needed, slit the side of the liner and drain the remaining water. The bladder should be disposed of and recycled. End quote. What a terrible waste, IMHO!
So I called the company today (1-800-966-8044) for sales and inquired as to “why”. The answer was about what I expected: “because it’s impossible to get all the water out and it can be contaminated”. Translation? Covering our butts so when someone claims they got sick from repeated use, we can say, “we told you to use it once!”.
Will I use it once and throw it in the landfill? Absolutely not! I will empty it, as best I can, and then I will hang it, upside down (with openings at bottom) on my “solar dryer” (clothesline) so that it can drain – for as long as it takes.
As I told the lady I spoke with at WaterBOB, the truth is, you will need to treat the water the FIRST time you fill this thing, in all likelihood. I would anyway, just because we have fluoride-laced, nano-particle drug municipal water at the city property, where we are most likely to be in a short-term event. When you are storing 100 lbs. of water in a single container, it will take time to use it all up, and it may need treatment, no matter your feelings about the source.
These are available from Amazon.com at just over $20.00 with FREE SHIPPING on all orders over $25.00.
Even with its challenges, I like the WaterBOB as an addition to our emergency water plans.
“Wild Bill” has been selected as the winner for the recent Going Home book giveaway.
Thanks everyone for participating.
Win a copy of Going Home!!!!!
Reviewed yesterday, this is one of my favorite books. If you would like a copy of your very own simply leave a comment to this post sharing your favorite preparedness-related book OR movie.
Let’s here it folks!!!!!
Contest will be open through Sunday.
What follows is a FREE downloadable document related to preparedness. More preparedness files are available on the SeasonedCitizenPrepper.com Preparedness Download Page.
If you have any files you would like to share – feel free to email them to SCPrepper(at)outlook.com.
Topic: survival – wilderness, general
Summary: A classic – this is what many consider to be THE manual for survival when modern conveniences are not available.
Click the button below to download the file.
- Aquamira Frontier Emergency Water Filter System
- Katadyn Hiker Microfilter
- Helotex G2 Tactical Flashlight
- Cree 7W 300LM Mini LED Flashlight
- Ultralight Backpacking Canister Camp Stove Burner with Piezo Ignition 3.9oz
From Rourke: This is Part Two of a special two part series on EMP. For further details and a much more in-depth report on the topic, please consider ordering a copy of Thinking the Unthinkable—EMP Attack! available by clicking HERE. The author’s website – SurvivalWeek.com appears to be down at the moment. This post can be seen in is original form over at ModernSurvivalOnline by clicking HERE.
Imagine for a Moment – The Reality of an EMP Event
- Part Two -
By Steve Nolan
with M.S. Wall
Dispelling the Myths
A Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) vs. High Altitude EMP (HEMP) Weapon: There are really only two known causes of EMP that can wreak havoc on a nationwide scale. One cause is an extremely powerful solar flare (aka Coronal Mass Ejection, or CME) and the other is the detonation of a nuclear device in our upper atmosphere (aka a HEMP). But there is a distinction to be made in the type of effects and potential damage caused by these two EMP events. Let’s take a closer look at some of the science and draw the distinctions.
An electromagnetic pulse event hits our Earth as a series of waves. These EMP “waves” can be broken down into three distinct forms, based primarily on their Frequency and Severity. The severity of an EMP can be rated and the scale includes E1, E2 and E3 in ascending order of intensity. Note that CMEs only produce an E3 pulse while a HEMP produces E1, E2 and an E3. Therefore, the only commonality between what our sun can unleash on us and a HEMP detonation is the E3 wave.
Breaking Down the Science
The E1 pulse is the first of three electromagnetic pulses created by a HEMP. An E1 happens almost instantaneously and lasts for only a microsecond. This E1 pulse is what most people associate with an EMP, that being the ability to destroy unshielded electronic equipment. Depending on the severity of the E1 blast, your proximity to it, and other external factors such as whether the equipment is plugged into a power source and is running at the time of the event, all factor into the susceptibility of the equipment of being damaged. While an E1 pulse only lasts a microsecond in length, its unique properties make it a “microprocessor” killer wave adversely affecting or frying non-hardened microprocessors.
The E2 pulse is created from previously scattered ambient gammas, as well as from the scattering of the weapon-produced neutrons from the nuclei of air molecules. This pulse happens after the E1 pulse finishes and is thought to last up to a full second. An E2 pulse is identical to a lightning strike and would strike antenna towers for example. The EMP Commission acknowledged that results of an E2 pulse would not, in general, cause damage to critical infrastructure systems that would typically be protected (i.e. grounded) against lightning strikes.
The third and final pulse of a HEMP event is known as an E3. The E3 is slower to arrive, but lasts up to 1,000 seconds or longer and has low frequency, operating in 1 Hertz . The HEMP causes an E3 wave that is very similar that E3 wave caused by a natural geomagnetic storm, a Coronal Massive Ejection (CME) or solar flare. An E3 from HEMP or CME would both actually be drawn to the tens of thousands of miles of interconnected electrical and communication lines that make up our power grid and communication networks which would act super antennae for this massive electromagnetic pulse. Within seconds, an E3 would blow High Voltage and Extremely High Voltage transformers and anything electronic plugged into them.
So, if a rogue state like Iran or North Korea launched a HEMP high over the United States, then we are far worse off than if an X class solar flare hits us directly. In the HEMP scenario, not only will our electrical grid be taken down but so too would most of our electronic-based technology.
This last point is worth repeating and noting. A significant EMP caused by a solar flare /CME could take down our electrical grid with its E3 wave, but leave most of your electronic-based technology intact, provided it is unplugged or shielded by surge protectors. That may also include automobiles and trucks. But a HEMP with its E1, E2 and E3 waves would take all of it out—from devices that require microprocessors to the source of the electricity itself!
Let’s now take a look at several myths and misconceptions about EMP:
Solar Storms: There is a common misconception that solar storms only affect the side of the earth that is facing the sun at the time the storm hits our atmosphere, or rather that a CMEs effects only hit the day-light side of Earth. But unfortunately, the most severe solar storms tend to disturb the entire magnetic field of the earth. The effect of the solar storms tends to be much greater near the geomagnetic poles, but it matters little whether it is night or day. When the electrical power grid of Quebec was shut down by a solar storm on March 13, 1989, the power grid was operating normally at 2:44am. In the span of only 92 seconds, it went from normal operations to a complete overload shutdown.
Electronics: Electronics such as computers, stereo equipment or televisions are laden with dozens of small-specialized electronic components and processors. Simply having these devices off during an E1 HEMP pulse would help, but that is not guarantee of their survivability. Some experts believe that unplugging these devices from wall outlets or home surge protectors will add another layer of protection. But all of them agree that having an electronic device on at the time of an EMP event would only increase the chances of damaging the sensitive electronic equipment. An E1 pulse will use the system’s energy to further damage the equipment.
Shielding: Shielding is the effort to protect an electronic device from the effects of an EMP. A “Faraday cage” is a common shielding device. A very efficient 80 db. Faraday cage would reduce the EMP by a factor of 10,000. In other words, it would reduce a 20,000 volts per meter EMP field to 2 volts per meter or a 50,000 volte per meter EMP to 5 volts per meter. Once again, as we described in the first part of this article, without testing these devices under a true EMP testing facility, it is impossible to accurately measure the effectiveness of any Faraday cage or other prevention device.
Faraday Cages: A Faraday cage will protect electronic equipment against E1 and E2 pulses from a HEMP attack. Of all the myths and urban legends surrounding EMP, Faraday Cages has to rank up there as the least understood aspect of EMP protection. Many people believe that aluminum trashcans or old aluminum ammo cans will work to shield electronic devices from EMP effects. Others profess that old microwaves would be excellent EMP-proof containers. I have even heard of people lining their attic roof with layers of tin foil to insulate themselves from EMP!
One of the keys to constructing a Faraday cage is making sure that the unit itself has a tight RF gasket seal and that it is a homogenous metal container that doesn’t contain welded seams. If the Faraday cage is constructed by welding components, the welds maybe at risk for not being continuous. The simpler the design, the better. Some believe stamped metal containers are superior to their more complicated welded counterparts. Additionally, the electronics placed inside the Faraday cage could be insulated (preferably by rubber) from touching any of the sides of the Faraday cage. Lastly, a leading expert in this field shared with me that the best Faraday protection would be to have a Faraday cage within a Faraday cage. Perhaps, that lends credence to the “Two is One, One is None” mantra in the prepper community!
Surge Protectors: Home or commercial surge protectors are designed to protect your electronics from typical power surges, not an EMP. Unfortunately, most surge protectors found in your typical office or home wouldn’t even be strong enough to protect you against a lightning strike. An E1 HEMP pulse is simply too fast for the typical surge protector to detect and protect your electronic equipment. An E3 pulse caused by a solar flare/CME or by a HEMP, while significantly slower than the E1 or E2 pulses that preceded it, will be drawn to our power grid and the thousands of miles of telephone and power cables snaking across neighborhoods much like lightning is drawn to a lightning rod. These cables will be like magnets attracting the high frequency surge, overwhelming transformers and anything electronic plugged into it.
Simply having expensive surge protection between your house and the grid may protect most of your electronic equipment from an E3 pulse, but more than likely, such precautions will be a moot point for two reasons. If it is a HEMP event, there is a chance the E1 pulse may have already fried critical electronic components throughout your home—especially if they are plugged-in, or worse, operating when the event takes place. The second reason relying on surge protection equipment may be a flawed defense is that if it is a major EMP event and our grid is affected, some studies show it may take years before the power grid is restored. Having your modern appliances protected from an E3 EMP pulse may help you sleep better at night, but if the power grid goes down for an extended period of time, having a 65” plasma television that will work again if and when the power grid is restored will be the least of your worries. There will likely be a lot of drama unfolding right in front of your eyes—and you won’t be needing your TV to deliver the drama to you…
The Wiring in Your House: During the Carrington Event in 1859, a massive CME erupted igniting the country’s vast network of telegraph wires interconnecting the various small towns and cities through out the nation. Not only did the E3 pulse fry the thousands of miles of telegraph wire, some of the telegraph offices that were connected to it reportedly caught fire! One can only imagine what a massive surge of 50,000 volts of energy may do to the hundreds of feet of thin copper wire running behind your drywall! This should make you want to stock up on more fire extinguishers!
Communications: There is a myth that during the 1960s the AT&T Long Lines Division was partially hardened against EMP, and therefore the 21st century telephone system is completely resistant to EMP. This myth, like many others, is quite bizarre, since it involves technology that hasn’t been used in a very long time. There are many other versions of this myth which assert that since some 30-year old (or older) technology was EMP-resistant that current technology is also EMP resistant. These myths get things exactly backward. The main reason that the EMP threat is increasing every year is because electronic devices are becoming more and more sensitive to EMP every year!
Radio Receivers: Conventional wisdom is that small-transistorized radio receivers may survive a nuclear EMP attack provided they were not operational or their antenna was not extended at the time of an E1 or E3 pulse. The fact is that modern day solid-state radio receivers are inherently more sensitive to EMP than the receivers of the 1970s.
Two-Way Radios: More recent testing of portable professional two-way radios has shown that they were resistant to EMP up to quite a high level. This is because two-way radios have sophisticated filtering in order to protect the receiving transmissions. One cannot extrapolate the EMP resistance of professional two-way radios to all other solid-state radio receivers, especially inexpensive consumer radios.
Older Vehicles: Since today’s automobiles and trucks rely on as many as 100 microprocessors, they are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects an E1 pulse from a HEMP attack. The dominant thinking in the prepper community is that pre-1973 vehicles should not be affected due to the lack electronic ignition systems. However, that isn’t necessary a given. During the Soviet high-attitude nuclear tests over Kazakhstan in 1962, rugged diesel generators having no solid-state parts were burned out by the E1 EMP.
In an important international electromagnetics conference in 1994, after the breakup of the Soviet Union, General Vladimir Loborev delivered an important technical paper in which he stated, “The matter of this phenomenon is that the electrical puncture occurs at the weak point of a system. Next, the heat puncture is developed at that point, under the action of the power voltage; as a result, the electrical power source is put out of action very often.”
This illustrates that even vehicles without an electronic ignition or other electronic components are not immune from HEMP. The one saving grace about older vehicles is that they are simpler to work on and maintain. In a post-grid-down world, maintenance on modern vehicles may be a challenge considering the electronic dependent nature of their design. Repairing the damage on an automobile or truck that does not depend on these electronic components for its basic functions should be easier.
New Vehicles: Many of today’s modern vehicles have microprocessors to control such things as your ignition system, climate control, instrumentation panel, airbags, door locks, windows, turn signals, advanced diagnostics, GPS, anti-lock brakes and fuel mixtures, among other things. An E1 HEMP pulse could negatively affect some or all of these processors. The government (or anyone else for that matter) hasn’t tested large quantities or many types of vehicles under EMP conditions because of the costs of the tests as well as the limited scope of their testing requirements—the military really doesn’t need to know which vehicles are vulnerable as long as its Hummers and Bradleys are hardened!
Look at it like this—if you ran a test of one model and make of vehicle and zapped six of these identical cars in the EMP test, half of them might die right there on the spot. One or two of them may have performance issues down the road and may fail to start in a week and maybe one might come out unscathed. It is impossible to know definitively how any EMP event may affect your car in any circumstance, so it may behoove you to simply assume and prepare for the worst.
What we know, and this is a significant distinction to make clear again for everyone reading this article, is that a solar event, regardless how strong it is will not likely be a threat to our modern day vehicles. The only caveat to this statement would be if you had an electric vehicle that happened to be charging at the time of the EMP event. In that scenario, it is conceivable to think that the car’s electronics may be damaged in the surge.
The real threat and the likely source of the nightmarish scenarios conveyed in the Imagine section that began the first article would likely only be caused by a HEMP, or as a result of a high altitude nuclear detonation. However, keep in mind that a significant solar-based EMP attack similar to what we witnessed in 1859 or more recently in Canada could take our national power grid. Without electricity we will not be able to pump gasoline into our cars or run the refineries to manufacture our gasoline. In the long term, automobiles and trucks will be just as useless after a CME causes the loss of our power grid as they would be if a sudden HEMP event had blown their microprocessors!
So what are the repercussions of a HEMP or EMP event?
Consider how dependent we are on technology. Critical infrastructure and systems range from our power grid, satellite, financial, transportation, to food production and processing, communication, to basic utilities. All of these are totally dependent on electricity and microprocessors.
An EMP event, whether HEMP- or CME-induced, could have devastating impacts on our lives as we know them. It is difficult or practically impossible to make yourself and your family immune to the effects of an EMP. The key is to make yourself as independent of electrical conveniences as you possibly can. The death of electricity will likely bring on the death of most Americans. Whatever you can do to set aside water, food, security and first aid and training, the more you increase the chances you will survive along with your family.
We hope that this information on EMP has been helpful. We have thousands of articles that can help you become more prepared on our website www.survivalweek.com that are categorized by topic. Along with EMP resources, we have volumes of information of basic preparedness and survival techniques that can greatly enhance your ability to protect what matters most—your family!
In the meantime, keep your powder dry and your faith strong!
Co-Founder of SurvivalWeek.com and Publisher of The Beacon.
From Rourke: Both today and on Thursday I present a special report republished from ModernSurvivalOnline. This is valuable and important information, therefore I felt it time to present it here on SeasonedCitizenPrepper.com. It can be seen in its original format HERE.
Imagine for a Moment – The Reality of an EMP Event
- Part One -
By Steve Nolan
with M.S. Wall
Imagine for a moment, all of your electronic conveniences such as lights, air conditioners, refrigerators, microwaves, cell phones, computers, ATM machines—anything that contained a microprocessor or required electricity to power it, suddenly stopped working—forever.
Imagine for a moment, the most basic things we Americans have taken for granted such as running water, electricity or natural gas suddenly stopped flowing—forever.
Imagine for a moment, you or a loved one is on an airplane flying at altitude when an event takes place and suddenly thousands of aircraft begin plummeting from the sky as the aircrafts’ computer-controlled systems suddenly fail.
Imagine for a moment, you are driving on the highway when your car suddenly decelerates and you have to veer to the side of the road as nearby vehicles swerve into one another and the entire Interstate becomes one massive parking lot.
Imagine this occurs and you are hundreds of miles from your home and you find your only way to get back home is your own two feet.
Imagine for a moment, the confusion that would set in when you try to help those injured in their vehicles and find out that everyone’s cell phones or CB Radios no longer work and there was no way to call 911.
Imagine for a moment, the feeling of total helplessness of not being able to communicate with your loved ones when your world is instantly turned upside down.
Imagine for a moment, you are forced to walk to your local grocery store with the hopes of buying water and food for your family and realize that debit and credit cards are no longer accepted.
Imagine for a moment, you or a loved one are in a hospital requiring life support or dialysis when the power goes out and the back-up generators either fail to kick-in or eventually run out of fuel and there are no means of refueling them.
These hellish scenarios are not the result of an alien attack or some other science-fictional phenomenon. They are just a few of the nightmares we might experience in the aftermath of an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) event.
Electromagnet Pulse Defined
An electromagnetic pulse An EMP is a high-intensity burst of electromagnetic radiation caused by a rapid acceleration of charged electron particles. Depending upon the type of burst, it can cause catastrophic damage to electrical devices due to its impact on both electric and magnetic fields. Modern technology is extremely susceptible to these effects.
There are two main causes of an EMP. The first is the result of a massive solar flare, or a Coronal Mass Ejection, which we will describe later in this article. The other is caused by a man-made event, which is known as a High Altitude EMP Event, or HEMP, which we will describe next.
High Altitude EMP (HEMP)—Overview
A HEMP is a caused by a nuclear detonation in the earth’s upper atmosphere—some 50 to 200 miles above the Earth’s surface. As an observer on the ground you may notice a brief flash of light. But there would be no warning. No sound or aftershock or radiation to worry about. Chances are you would never know a nuclear bomb went off—except for the fact anything electronic or requiring electricity would suddenly cease to work…Forever.
On a human level, the results of a HEMP include all the effects described in the “Imagine” introduction to this article… It seems incredible that a single and relatively low-yield nuclear weapon could have such a sinister and extraordinarily destructive effect without directly killing a single human being. But this is the reality of living in an advanced technology-dependent world that is extremely vulnerable to the effects of an electromagnetic pulse. The first observation of the repercussions of a HEMP were during the height of the Cold War as the United States and the Soviet Union were experimenting with high altitude atomic weapon detonations. It is ironic that the effects of a HEMP could be much broad and more deadly to our country’s inhabitants over the course of a year than the death and destruction caused by any single or multiple-head ICBM.
Coronal Mass Ejection (CME)—Overview
The second cause of an EMP is from a solar event called a coronal mass ejection, or CME. The solar flare or CME emits radiation that eventually hits the Earth’s atmosphere, causing similar effects as the HEMP, but the degree of the effects depends on a number of factors. The early discovery of the effects of CME dates back to 1859 when Richard Carrington, one of England’s foremost solar astronomers, observed a series of intense solar flares that fried thousands of miles of interconnected telegraph wires throughout the United States. A CME on a similar scale as the Carrington event would have drastic results on our modern civilization that has become utterly dependent on electricity and microprocessors.
Similar but Different
In spite of there being two totally different potential causes of an EMP, the outcome can be equally devastating. Both a HEMP and a significant CME could have real world repercussions that threaten our electrical grid. At primary risk in both cases are our high voltage transformers which would likely be destroyed by the overwhelming surge in electrons that race across the tens of thousands of electrical and communication lines crisscrossing the country. Without these transformers and the lines to transmit electricity from source to use, our modern society simply stops… And unfortunately, the replacement lead-time for manufacturing and shipping these high voltage transformers, which are now all manufactured in China, is longer than 12-months!
Imagine for a moment what life would be like without electricity for twelve months or perhaps longer! According to a 2008 study by Metatech, the time required to obtain replacements of these devices under these circumstances could be up to 3-years! The devastation inflicted on the United States by either a HEMP or severe EMP event would plunge us back to a life that is reminiscent of how we lived in the 1800s. According to several experts, the resulting death rate in the United States as result of prolonged grid-down event is expected to be as high 90%!
It is important to recognize that there is a fundamental difference between the potential scale of damage from a man-made HEMP attack versus that from a solar-based event. It is likely that under the man-made High Altitude EMP/HEMP scenario, we will be dealing with an even greater danger than in the event of a CME. A HEMP differs from a CME in that it is packed with a one-two punch. A HEMP will not only fry unhardened microprocessors (i.e. ruin all electrical devices), but it also could utterly destroy our fragile power grid (i.e. all transformers and transmission devices and wires)!
With a CME, at least we have some variables that will dictate the level of damage such as the severity of the solar flare itself, the direction of impact, and the relative defenses of our atmosphere and the earth’s magnetic field. The fact is that CME’s hit our Earth with some frequency but are often weak, or hit our atmosphere and magnetic field with a glancing blow. These weaker or indirect CMEs may only cause some interesting visuals in the night sky, or interrupt some radio transmissions, but are not as catastrophic as a HEMP. But a massive CME that hits Earth straight on may end up destroying electrical our high voltage electrical grid systems much the same as a HEMP. Unfortunately, in either case, we will not have much time to prepare for such an event once it’s launched or expelled from the Sun, so preparing for both potential events before they occur is what we should all consider doing.
Protecting Yourself from EMP
There is much speculation and misinformation circulating about how you can protect yourself from a CME or HEMP attack. A lot of this conjecture and confusion is in part due to our government’s Top Secret classification on the subject and the fact that they only perform tests on their own hardened structures and military equipment.
The unfortunate reality is that testing various pieces of equipment at one of the few EMP testing facilities open to civilian testing is extremely expensive. Because of this, there simply has not been a series of tests of non-military vehicles or electronic equipment inside microwave ovens, or aluminum garbage cans to see if these contraptions can actually prevent the passage of electromagnetic waves through the containers like poor man’s Faraday cage! The only EMP protectors available to the civilian population that are guaranteed to work are likely the very expensive commercially produced versions you seen online. So, whether you choose to make a contraption yourself, or purchase a device made by someone else, it will be hard to say with any certainty that it will protect electronic devices unless it has actually been tested in an EMP testing facility.
The bottom line is that it will be very difficult for the average civilian to protect his/her electronics or automobile with absolute certainty from an HEMP and there is more hope associated with these items “surviving” a CME or solar flare EMP event. What everyone can and should be doing now is stock up on water, food, medical and other items essential to surviving a world without electricity. Equally important to taking care of your own/family preparations is to help your neighbors and communities wake up and prepare as well!
In the second part of this article coming tomorrow, we will break down the science of an electromagnetic pulse as well as attempt to dispel more myths and separate more fact from fiction surrounding EMP…
As mentioned in the introduction, our Thinking the Unthinkable Report: EMP Attack! report covers this entire topic in much greater depth and explores the repercussions to the major industries that support our modern society—that is, our financial, manufacturing, farming, healthcare, communications and transportation industries. Along with this information, we will include suggestions of how you might prepare yourself, your family and your community for such a catastrophic event.
Thinking the Unthinkable: EMP Attack! is available for sale by clicking HERE or by visiting our Shopping Cart at SurvivalWeek.com. This thought-provoking 80-page report sells for $24.95.
In the meantime, keep your powder dry and your faith strong!
Co-Founder of SurvivalWeek.com and Publisher of The Beacon.
Loyal reader Arlene sent me the following in response to the “Recommended Products” section here on SeasonedCitizenPrepper.com:
“I like the carousal display style of the products!! Rourke and all-could you please list the authors for recommended books because sometimes there are many titles of the same .I am searching for Lights Out, Going Home and Patriot Dawn. Thanks Arlene
Lee- Alas Babylon by Pat Frank was exc. -I agree.”
Here are a bunch of survival and preparedness books listed by author along with “hodge podge” thrown in. Both non-fiction and fiction are represented.
Thanks for the suggestion Arlene!!
Scott B. Williams
Bruce D. Clayton
Here are several books from various authors that may peak your interests…..
Any other suggestions?
Ever sense I was a teenager there have been numerous times when I have “come to the rescue” in a situation. Not literally rescued someone but just had what was needed at the time. One of the most memorable was when I was going to Winthrop College back in 1989 and Hurricane Hugo swept into town. I awoke at 4:00am to the power out and incredible wind and rain. I was in my dormitory and walked into the hallway outside my room and people were trying to get news and check on people. Hardly anyone had a flashlight and as far as news there were no cell phones back then. I went into the Army footlocker I had brought to school with me and fetched a radio along with a couple of flashlights and several cyalume light sticks. I passed the extra items out.
I was not surprised by the lack of preparation. I had seen it all before.
Another example was a storm rolled through the South and killed power in my area. I cranked up my generator and plugged in my fridge and freezer – along with a box fan, cell phone chargers and a TV/DVD. My neighbor was talking to my wife about they didn’t know what they were going to do as the power was supposed to be out up to 4 days. I told my wife to run ONE extension cord over there and to make sure that ONLY the fridge was plugged in. I didn’t want to overload the genny.
There have been numerous other situations where the power went out, a band-aid or first aid kit was needed, someone needed some rope – whatever. Point is and not trying to pat myself on the back but I come through because I am prepared.
So – is preparedness common sense or craziness?
Seems like the answer is self-evident: It is craziness NOT to prepare.
Take care all -
Everyday more and more people are getting involved in preparedness. The reasons are many however these “newbies” often are confused and just don’t know where to start.
This post is to assist in pointing many of you new to preparedness in the right direction. The acquiring and completion of this list does not get you ready for the end of the world. That is not the goal. What these 10 items provide is a good base which to build your survival system from.
So – here is the list:
#1 – LED Flashlight with extra batteries
The flashlight is one of the most basic supplies in any preparedness system. Once the lights go out and the sun goes down the lowly flashlight will be very welcome and extremely important. When that ”thing” goes bump in the night and the kids are scared a flashlight (or twelve) will provide comfort in addition to security.
There are a lot of great flashlights that do not have to cost and arm and a leg. The Nebo featured above is an excellent example.
Whatever is purchased make sure to get several sets of extra batteries as well.
#2 – Water / Food
Without food and water a survival situation can go from bad to very, very bad. A good start is putting back 72 hours worth of food for each member of your group or family. This does not have to be expensive or take up a lot of space. Purchasing extra food such as rice, beans, peanut butter, dehydrated potatoes, etc. at your local grocery store is certainly a good option. Ready made 72 hour kits of quality freeze dried food can be purchased and placed on a shelf just on case.
Water can be purchased by the gallon or in cases of small portable bottles. Look for ones on sale and stack them up next to your emergency food supply.
#3 - Fire
Fire can do a lot. Fire can heat, cook, signal, sterilize, purify, provide light, and protect. Grab a couple packs of matches and a few butane lighters. Save dryer lint in a Ziploc bag along with some petroleum jelly and fire you will have.
#4 - Guns & Ammo
It is unfortunate that low-life hoodlums will take advantage of disasters and emergency situations and rob, loot, steal, and murder. Being able to defend yourself, your family and your supplies is required. Whatever firearm is chosen be familiar with it, be able to shoot it accurately and have plenty of ammunition and extra magazines (if applicable).
A pile of money is not needed to get something decent. I recently picked up a brand new Springfield XD9 for $399. Not bad.
#5 - Blankets
Blankets can provide not only warmth but comfort as well should the need to sleep on a hard surface arise. Blankets can be folded to create a pillow. They also can be folded and tied to hold supplies. Blankets can also be used between two large poles to carry an injured person. Wool is highly recommended. A lot of uses and not easily replaces with an alternative.
#6 - First Aid Kit
Got a boo-boo? Not a big deal in most cases however in a disaster-event one of the last things anyone needs is an infection. Depending upon what happens tree’s could be down, power out – lots of opportunities for injury.
Having a good basic first aid kit just makes sense. They can be purchased at Wal-Mart for just under $10.00. I have one of the kits pictured above and am very happy with it.
#7 – Knife
A good basic knife can do a lot of things and likely should probably be higher on the list. Depending on the specific knife, this tool can cut, chop, slice, carve, hammer, pry, stab, and hack. The KA-BAR is a good knife.
#8 – Radio
Communication is more than just valuable so you know what is happening r will be happening – it can be a morale booster. Bring stuck in a house with no power, no running water – with no connection to the outside world can wreak havoc on people especially kids. An inexpensive radio is a good start.
#9 – Fuel
Back when Hurricane Hugo plowed through the southeast power was lost for several days in many areas. Gas stations also lost power and many people had no fuel for their vehicles. Having a few 5 gallon gas containers full sitting in a shed or in the backyard is insurance. Make sure you don’t store them in your house or garage.
#10 – Trash Bags
Trash bags are extremely versatile and I recommend large heavy-duty lawn leaf bags. Plastic trash bags can provide shelter from the elements as well as hold waste. They can transport water as well as capture it from the sky.
Go to the store and get a box of large, heavy duty leaf bags.
Alright everyone no doubt opinions vary on what items should and shouldn’t be on this list.
What do you think?
Top 10 Really Silly-Sounding Prep Items That Aren’t All That Silly to Have Around
by Wyzyrd – Editor-at-large
I have been looking at some of the things that in my various kits (especially in the vehicle) that usually get head-scratching “huh??” responses, but have been very handy over the years. Maybe they can be helpful for you too.
1) Dollar-store packs of spring-loaded wooden clothespins
Have you ever needed to dry that nasty, wet pair of socks by an open fire without setting them on fire, or even just sun-dry wet clothes? Ever needed to post a really-obvious note (like “I’m about a mile in this direction ->”. Remove the wood, move the spring-ends in the opposite direction and you have a decent tubing-clamp or note-hanger. Wet weather? Split the wood for dry tinder. Pound one of the wood pieces under something when you need a quick shim-wedge. Decent woodworking clamps if you need to glue something not too thick (add a rubber band if needed). I haven’t tried, but I suspect that a tension/compression steel spring might have some trap/snare uses, as well.
2) “Singing Straws”
Cheap, flexible, corrugated plastic drinking straws from the grocery or dollar-store. Warning: these are REALLY annoying and noisy if you give them to young kids. Weigh nearly-nothing, take up almost no space. Drink from puddles “Survivorman-style” if you really have to. Turn one and a bottle into an improvised “hydration unit” on your pack harness. Focus air-flow right where you want it on a tinder-bundle under your fire-lay. Instant electrical wire insulation. CA glue and a lot of Gorilla-tape WILL fix a broken automotive fuel-line, hopefully long enough to get you to a service station. (NOT fun, but it DID work)
3) Chinese-restaurant-style ‘disposable’ bamboo chopsticks
If you eat out or order in , wash, dry and save them (along with the paper wrapper). Small and light. Obviously, great eating utensils for your kit. Pair with one of the clothespin springs for kids or the chopstick-averse, improvised cooking tongs, or ‘hot object movers’ (you CAN boil water in your hat, etc. using hot rocks, but you want to avoid burning your hands or wrecking your gloves – just sayin’..). Stirring tools, “dibble sticks” for planting, glue-spreaders, put one in a pencil sharpener as a craft tool, split one as a shim, use a sharpened one and a cotton ball as a heavyweight squirrel-getter through a blowpipe. The package give you both dry paper tinder and dry kindling, if you should ever need it. I get them for $2.50 for a 50-pair pack at my semi-local Asian supermarket. Best online price I have found is $1.36 for a 50-pair pack. Very cheap tools, and amazingly handy.
4) An empty, clean, sealed steel coffee can with a whole roll of TP inside it.
A must for every vehicle you drive. Depending on your onboard supplies, you can probably cook a gourmet meal on a fire using just that coffee can as a cooking pot, or at least boil water for coffee. Add rubbing alcohol, and you have an emergency heater. More likely, when you find yourself in dire straits, 30 miles from the next exit on the Interstate at 2am, the clean, dry contents of that coffee can will make you glad you prepared ahead.
5) Tube of Barge® brand Contact Cement
I normally resist recommending brand names, but in this particular case, there simply is no good alternative. All of the usual megamart/hardware store contact cement brands are pretty close to useless. If you are old enough to remember shoe repair shops, Barge contact cement was “that smell”. It isn’t “non-toxic and environmentally-friendly”, but it WILL hold on a boot sole until the sole wears out and needs to sanded off to be replaced. If you need to quickly join leather, cloth, canvas, PVC, etc., this stuff is just unbeatable. Get the smallest tubes you can find, and resist the urge to get the gallon can. When I was doing leatherwork semi-professionally, I usually ended up tossing the last half inch or so of every pint can, because it dried out (I didn’t like keeping a can of toluene around in my house just to keep it liquid – YMMV). When you need a ‘quick permanent fix’, this stuff is nearly as useful as duck tape, if you follow the directions.
6) A “Four-in-Hand” Rasp/File combo
Originally a farrier’s tool for trimming hooves. You can pick one up at your local hardware store. Combines round and flat wood rasp and coarse wood file surfaces in one small, light tool. You sometimes find the need to make a piece of wood (or plastic or aluminum – too coarse/soft for most other metals) “just fit”, or knock down rough surfaces. Very, very handy tool.
7) “Yard-Sale”-Quality Wooden Cane/Walking Stick
You can pick these up at yard sales and flea markets for a couple bucks. Stick one behind the driver’s seat in your vehicle and it takes up almost no space. Three legs are more stable on ice, snow, mud or rough ground. You might actually injure yourself outdoors, and a support comes in handy. If you only spent a buck on it, and it’s not a priceless family heirloom, you should have no problem splitting it for dry kindling in an emergency. You can use it as an improvised weapon in bad situations, or just shake it in the air and yell “You kids get the H*ll off my lawn..” as needed. :)
8) Dollar Store Shower Curtains
A small, light package holding a reasonable-gauge translucent plastic tarp with sorta-reinforced grommets on on edge. This will never take the place of a big roll of plastic painter’s tarp, but it only costs a buck, and you can slip an extra one in almost anywhere. The packaging makes a decent (cold liquid) drinking cup.
9) A Cast Aluminum “Shrimp Deveiner” tool
You need to go to an old-school hardware store or online to get these. About $3 apiece. They have been replaced in most kitchen stores by plastic junk, cast aluminum is better. You’re not going to use it to shell and de-vein shrimp, unless you’re REALLY lucky. Round down the sharp point with a file and some emery cloth and you now have a tool that old-time mariners called a ‘marlinspike”. Any time you need to deal with tangled, fouled, knotted, wet, nasty cordage, it is absolutely priceless. It is used to pry open knots or as leverage to tighten siezings without fraying or cutting the rope. I actually prefer the shrimp tool to the marlinspikes on my rigger’s knives.
10) A 2-ft D-Handle Garden Spade
We all secretly (or not so secretly) love playing Billy Bad*ss and tossing Spetznaz entrenching shovels into the ends of big logs on camping trips. Ever try to actually dig a hole with one without a good supply of analgesic meds? It’s painful. A ‘real’ small shovel will fit in nearly any vehicle, and costs about $12. (Often on sale 2 for $14 at Sportsmansguide). If you live in snow, mud or sand country, a “kiddy-size” snow shovel is not a bad thing to have stashed in the vehicle, either.
11) (bonus) A Gooseneck Crowbar
Put it where you can reach it with your strong hand and find by touch in your vehicle. The first funeral I ever attended was my best friend’s uncle’s, a NYC cop who broke his old wood nightstick trying to move a steering wheel and window in a wrecked and burning patrol car. We all started carrying ‘old school’ lug wrenches or crowbars by the driver’s seat, and I still do, 40+ years later. Mine mostly is used as a campfire poker, but it has pried apart locked bumpers, served as a visual ‘attitude adjuster’, helped demolish an old barn and helped move a stack of rack-mount computer servers that someone had not actually rack-mounted. Don’t leave home without it.
OK, Seasoned Citizen Preppers, what other “silly” useful items do you pack around? Share the knowledge.
We’re all in this together.
****This post was originally published here on SeasonedCiizenPrepper.com back in April of 2012. It can be seen HERE.
Alright everyone, for those saying they just cannot afford special grow buckets and raised beds to grow some vegetables here is a super cheap way to get started.
I actually saw this on Facebook and thought it was a great idea.
See diagram below:
Credit goes to greenroofgrowers.blogspot.com for the diagram.
I have grown many vegetables in containers including tomatoes, cucumbers, summer squash, and zucchini. I can see the illustrated system above working just fine for tomatoes and smaller plants like peppers. I think zucchini is possible as well. Due to the narrow nature of the container and it being so top heavy as the plants grows it would be a good idea that they are somehow supported. It would not be good to have your wonderful tomato plant slam against the ground when the wind blows.
If anyone tries these out I would love to receive some pictures. Email me – emergencycd(at)gmail.com.
Gardening for Survival
By Pam, Editor-At-Large
The ultimate in self-sufficiency in terms of food is, of course, to grow it yourself. I have read many articles lately inferring preppers should buy seeds packaged for long term storage so that when SHTF they can dig up part of the lawn and grow their own food. I would like to warn those who see this as a viable option. It’s not that it can’t be done but the scope of the project isn’t being clearly defined.
It’s that time of year when the garden plan solidifies. It is time to inventory the pantry to evaluate the most popular crops and adjust the garden space allotments accordingly. Heirloom seeds are inventoried, new seeds are ordered and indoor starts are planted. Although we may grow significant quantities of fruit and vegetables, do we really know what it would take to feed a family of four for a whole year if the garden was our ONLY source of food?
Grandma Carrie grew and preserved everything that her family ate in the late 1880’s and early 1900’s short of wheat, sugar, salt and spices. Her garden was well over a quarter acre. And she had a rule of thumb – One quart per person, per day. Since she was feeding ten people she would need to can 3,650 quarts of fruits and vegetables. Add to that the crops that went into the root cellar, some crops were dried and stored in burlap bags, milk and eggs were gathered year ‘round, animals were butchered as needed and the meat was stored in crocks.
Now, I just had to challenge Grandma Carrie’s rule of thumb so for five days I attempted to feed my family of 6 solely with 6 quarts of home canned fruits, vegetables and meat per day. Let me clarify that, the little guy only had eight teeth and his next older sibling only weighed 30 pounds. We ate soups, stew and weird goulash. The only food I dished up to be eaten straight out of the jar was fruit. We learned that we could probably just barely survive on this diet as long as we weren’t doing much physical work. The lack of grains, pastas and rice left it woefully short of calories and the lack of REAL dessert made it nearly intolerable.
However, there is great value to those quarts when you consider the health benefits of home grown and the price of canned and frozen produce from the supermarket. To supply each member of the family with their “quart a day” you should plan approximately 1,000 to 2,500 square feet of garden space for each person. This amount depends on soil fertility, the crops you choose to grow, methods of cultivation and the length of your growing season. Other food sources like fruit trees and livestock also plays a huge part in the amount of vegetables you need. A 2,000 square foot garden would be a 40 foot by 50 foot section of your property. This can be a pretty significant undertaking especially if you have no experience gardening. Crops such as squash and cucumbers require significantly more space than spinach, Swiss chard, carrots, onions and beets. Peas, tomatoes and some beans do best with a fence, cage or pole to grow UP on which decreases the square feet necessary.
Here are some rough estimates on space to yield for feeding four people for one year:
|Crop||Garden Space||Pounds||Canned or Frozen|
|Beans (green)||300 square feet||175||90 quarts|
|Beets||100 square feet||75||24 quarts|
|Broccoli||100 square feet||75||48 quarts|
|Cabbage||100 square feet||150||40 quarts|
|Carrots||100 square feet||120||30 quarts|
|Cauliflower||120 square feet||60||20 quarts|
|Corn||200 square feet||150||40 quarts|
|Cucumbers||24 square feet (3 X 8)||55||35 quarts|
|Onions||50 square feet||130||5 quarts dehydrated|
|Peas||200 square||110||20 quarts|
|Peppers||50 square feet||75||30 quarts|
|Potatoes||300 square feet||400 – 500||Store in cool, dry place|
|Squash||24 square feet (3 X8)||100||20 quarts|
|Swiss Chard or spinach||200 square feet||90||35 quarts|
|Tomatoes||150 square feet||500||200 quarts *|
*Estimate based on ½ whole and ½ sauce
This chart shows 2,018 square feet of growing space without any paths in between them. I have given the yield in quarts but to have a better idea if this would suit your family, you will probably want to consider pints (or twice as many jars half the size). For example, one pint of beets would probably be adequate for a meal for four people, a 100 foot row will yield around 48 pints which would provide enough beets for one meal a week for a year.
This chart provides 657 quarts plus potatoes, about half of Grandma Carrie’s rule of thumb. Do you have a canner, pressure canner, enough lids and jars?
There are a number of options for planting. The most common method is rows approximately a foot wide with a 2 foot space or path between the rows. Obviously, crops such as squash and cucumbers require a wider space to allow for the vines to spread. This method requires the least amount of hand weeding between plants and is ideal if you intend to control weeds between the rows by rototilling. However, it is not the most efficient use of space.
A newer more space efficient method is square foot gardening where a 3 foot x 3 foot or 4 foot x 4 foot space is planted more densely. The size of your ‘square foot’ is determined by your ease of reaching to the center to pull weeds and harvest crops. The paths between the ‘square feet’ can still be maintained mechanically if you wish but the small tillers are best due to the cross rows and increased chance of damaging crops.
A third method which I have found to conserve still more space is the wide row. Basically, a combination of square foot gardening and row planting. Having 3’-4’ wide rows allows us to reach to the center from two sides and it increases the space actually planted because there are no cross rows. Care should be exercised to be sure that the crops planted next to each other are compatible.
The quality of your soil is the imperative. Much more needs to be done to prepare a garden space than simply digging up the lawn. Friability or easy to crumble is normally the first obstacle to overcome. Grasses can grow in clay – or cracks in asphalt for that matter but vegetable need lose, crumbly, preferably loamy soil. Amendments need to be made in the way of compost, perhaps sand and possibly nutrients to alter the pH level. Do you have enough shovels, hoes and rakes?
How do you intend to water your garden? Tomatoes for example, need to be soaked 6-8 inches deep every 5-10 days depending on the heat and amount of rain you have. If the grid is down, is your water down? If you are collecting water in a rain barrel, do you intend to drip irrigate or hand water? Is one barrel enough? Do you have all the materials on hand now?
Successful gardening and home preservation of the bounty for survival purposes is doable but you really need to understand how much is required. The time to start learning is not when you are hungry.
Pam and her husband have fancied themselves homesteaders for over three decades with experience in raising livestock, gardening, food preservation, using long term food storage, living off-grid and everything else that goes with the self-sufficient lifestyle. They own Mayflower Trading Company with the motto: “A pilgrimage to Resource Efficiency”. The mission being: “To help others with products and/or advise in their own pilgrimage to self-sufficiency”. You can visit them at www.mayflowertrading.com